portland independent media center  
images audio video
newswire article reposts united states

economic justice | health | social services

State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) funding threatened

The Weekly Monitor, Oregonians for Health Security's weekly newsletter of health care happenings for the week of September 27, 2004.
Profile of Action Needed to Keep Funds for Children's Health Care

"In the limelight of the Republican convention, the President made lofty promises about health coverage for uninsured children, but, with much less fanfare, he is actually opposing efforts to extend the availability of funds earmarked to serve those children."
- Ron Pollack, Executive Director, Families USA

As described in a Special Report from Families USA, a national health care advocacy organization, $1.1 billion in federal funds intended for the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) will be removed from state coffers at midnight on September 30 unless congress passes legislation to maintain the availability of these funds. Based on the Families USA report, Oregon stands to lose about $18 million that could be used to provide one year of health care for roughly 12,000 children.Overall, every state will lose monies that could provide coverage for a combined 750,000 children.

Bipartisan bills have been introduced in both the Senate and the House, but Republican congressional leaders have not scheduled the bills for a vote in the current legislative session. Although the President supported similar legislation in 2000 and 2003, he now opposes the continuation of these earmarked funds. If legislation is not passed, states will not only lose money that maintains their health services to children, but states will probably have to cut some health care coverage, resulting in even more uninsured children in Oregon and across the country.
Contact your U. S. Senators and Representatives NOW and call for their action to save funds designated for children's health care. Below are links to their online contact forms:

Senator Ron Wyden

Senator Gordon Smith

For Representatives, go to:

3,927,000, Total # of children enrolled in SCHIP in 2003
8,373,000, Total # of children still uninsured in 2003
"Unless Congress and the President act before September 30, this money will be lost, adding more and more children to the ranks of the uninsured."
- Families USA Report, September 2004

homepage: homepage: http://www.oregoniansforhealthsecurity.org/